• Simply Asian

    by Jon on January 30, 2007 · 3 comments

    7 PM. Certain there was nothing to eat in the frig or pantry. Tummy beginning to rumble. Stumble on recipe printed from internet, lying around on the counter in my pantry. Do I have all the ingredients and if not, can I punt? The answer is yes. And I’m glad I did.

    Oops on the plate – while I wanted to showcase my daughter’s beautiful pottery creation, perhaps the pancakes would show up better on a plate that doesn’t have dots!

    I know that fish sauce smells a bit strong (that’s putting it mildly), but when it gets blended with other ingredients for a Vietnamese meal, it is fantastic. I think I must have been Asian in another life – I feel like I have fish sauce running through my veins!

    Tonight’s dinner included Rice Noodle Pancakes – I found the recipe at Rachael’s Fresh Catering blog. If you want the recipe, please visit her blog. If I’m not mistaken, she created the recipe from ingredients she found in her friend’s cupboards. The pancakes were so delicious that I’m thinking of bringing the recipe to one of our local Vietnamese restaurants and asking the chef to start making them. The only adaptation I made was to make a sauce similar to Nuoc Cham (Vietnamese dipping sauce) to spoon over each pancake before sliding it into our mouths. I got the recipe for the sauce from Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds.

    I also made Szechwan Slaw, a recipe from the Whole Foods Market Cookbook, a perfect cold, crunchy, sweet & spicy complement to the pancakes.

    Szechwan Slaw

    1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
    1/4 cup canola oil
    1/4 cup sugar
    2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
    1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
    1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
    1/4 cup chopped mint (my addition)
    salt to taste

    3 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
    3 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
    1 large red or green pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
    4 scallions, sliced thinly and diagonally
    1 large carrot, grated
    1/4 lb. snow peas, sliced thinly and diagonally
    1/8 cup black sesame seeds

    To prepare the dressing:
    In a bowl, combine the vinegar, canola oil, sugar, ginger, red chili flakes, cilantro, mint, and salt. Set aside.

    To prepare the salad:
    Combine the red and green cabbages (tonite I used 6 cups green cabbage), red pepper (tonite I used green pepper), scallions, carrot, snow peas (I skipped these tonite as I didn’t have any in the frig), and sesame seeds. Fifteen minutes before serving time, toss the cabbage mixture with the dressing, as this allows the flavors to meld while keeping the crisp vegetables intact.

    Vietnamese Dressing
    3/4 cup fish sauce
    2/3 cup Japanese rice vinegar
    2 small hot red chile peppers, seeded and cut into fine shreds (I used one dry one)
    3 tablespoons minced garlic
    5 1/2 tablespoons sugar, or more to taste

    Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar. Chill in a covered container, the dressing will keep up to a week. makes about 1 1/2 cups.

    { 3 comments… read them below or add one }

    Dianne February 1, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    Oh wow! That looks absolutely gorgeous! I love Asian food, so will have to try it!



    Ellen February 1, 2007 at 5:24 pm

    It was so delicious! I can’t wait to make it again. Not tonite though – we’re making Pho Ga which is Vietnamese Chicken Soup. Tonite it’ll be Vietnamese for the third night in a row!!!


    Rachael December 3, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    I am so glad those worked for you! That makes me so happy!



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